Three service personnel with images overlaid of different careers

Finding your post-Defence career

Anita Jaensch 18 September 2019

If you’ve made the difficult decision to leave Defence, what steps can you take to ensure you transition more easily into civilian employment?

Transitioning into civilian employment can bring challenges, but there are programs that can help you adjust to the next chapter in your career. We’ve asked RSL Queensland’s Employment Program Coordinator Carmen Rogers to give us the lowdown.

Career Transition Assistance Scheme (CTAS)

ADF members who have served for up to 12 years are eligible for Level 1 of CTAS, which you might also have heard called the Job Search Preparation Workshop.

Carmen says CTAS is a great starting point for Defence members who are transitioning.

“The Job Search Preparation Workshop is a two-day workshop that you can do up to 12 months before you separate and for 12 months afterwards,” Carmen says, “and it provides you with a really good foundation for the civilian job market.”

“Participants learn how to write a resume and cover letter, how to read and interpret job ads, and how to translate the skills they’ve acquired in Defence for a civilian employer. They also get an overview of the cultural differences between Defence and civilian workplaces.”

Carmen points out that if you’ve served for longer than 12 years, you may be eligible for additional support under CTAS. Check your eligibility here

RSL Queensland Employment Program

If you’ve completed CTAS – or if you transitioned out of Defence more than 12 months ago – you may be eligible for additional support through the RSL Queensland Employment Program.

“We don’t want to duplicate programs that already exist so, if you transitioned less than a year ago, you must have completed CTAS to be eligible for the RSL Queensland Employment Program,” Carmen says.

“The benefit is that you are one step closer to gaining meaningful civilian employment. It means we can really add extra value by providing career counselling and polishing those job seeking skills.

“We look at what roles and industries you would like to work in, and help you figure out how to get there – which might include getting any prior learning recognised, or upskilling.

“We’re also working with about 30 Queensland employers who are interested in hiring veterans.” 

And Carmen says the Employment Team’s job doesn’t end once their clients find a job.

“We follow up each one of our clients after six months to make sure the role is still a good fit. But we’re finding that the work we put in with our clients at the beginning pays dividends; after six months, 93 per cent of our clients are still in employment.”

Want to know if the RSL Queensland Employment Program can help you? Find out more about RSL Queensland's Employment Program here.

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